Creating a Cocktail Woodcock

Raise a glass to this award-winning miniature

By: David Askew
Updated February 23, 2024
Creating a Cocktail Woodcock

This article describes how I went about creating the cocktail carving I entered into the 50th Ward World Championships. Cocktail birds present the particular challenges of working at such a small scale—birds have to fit within a 3½" diameter circle, according to competition rules—but they do have a distinct advantage when packing for long distance travel. I was coming over to Ocean City for the Ward Worlds from the UK.

I felt that a woodcock in a typical “resting on the woodland floor” pose would lend itself well to a small carving that would not need any habitat. It could stand, or sit, alone. You rarely see a woodcock in this pose of course, because usually you don’t see them at all until they explode out from under your feet. Their beautiful cryptic coloring makes them very difficult to see amongst the leaves and brash of the woodland floor. The European woodcock (Scolopax rusticola) is similar to the American woodcock (Scolopax minor) in overall form (round body, large head, long bill, and high eye position) but lacks the gray and orange buff tones, being more red or orange brown overall.


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